Self worth | From Alcohol, Shame, Self-worth, to Love, Empathy, and Patience

The couple years leading up to when I decided to quit drinking I was fortunate enough to read a couple hundred books in and around the self-improvement space. Many of those books helped open my eyes to “self-awareness”. Self-Awareness definition; conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires. The reason self-awareness is so important, is to understand why WE do what we do. What motivates us to do or not do what we know we should, and how and who we blame for OUR misfortune or disappointment.

Through this journey I discovered that regular alcohol use sometimes made me feel ashamed and disappointed in myself. There are many reasons for this from the science of dopamine levels in your body, lack of self-control, or any other underlying issue that alcohol only amplifies on the back side. Most of the time when this happens we just remind ourselves to scale back the drinks or in some cases the consequence was so bad that we lost a relationship, job, or something else important. These situations lead to more shame and a lower self-worth and the spiral begins until you might be swimming in the alcohol 24/7 trying to drown out the shame. This is how it often happens for our loved ones that find themselves with a serious alcohol problem.

I never made it to this space, but because my father did, it was as a fear in the back of my head. Being a devoted father to my children, one night out was enough next day shame to consider quitting alcohol completely. I think one of the most important things to share is that I didn’t realize all of this until AFTER I quit drinking for 30-60 days.

Once I quit drinking, the shame went away. My self-worth sky rocketed, and felt like I could accomplish anything. (I decided to write a book even! Haha) I had never felt so valuable to myself, my family and those around me. The other great benefit that came along with this is becoming massively empathetic to others. Why is this so important? Empathy and vulnerability are usually the two locks on the door to true happiness.

Deciding to quit drinking and share my story with the world made me more vulnerable than I had ever been in my life and it felt so good! In doing so you realize there are so many people out there that struggle with different levels of shame and self-worth. Once you understand the shame you lived with and remove it, you are on a whole new level of living. I call it “more human, than human.”

Now that you are more empathetic to others and their potential struggles, you become more patient with other people and even yourself. Yes, laugh it off. You will see that most things are not worth getting upset about anymore. When you are less upset, you are HAPPIER!

Let’s recap a few takeaways:

  1. Figure out what causes you shame today and work on a plan to stop it. (eating, sex, alcohol, lack of exercise, etc)
  2. Remember others live with some level of shame too. Be empathetic to them. Get patient instead of getting pissed.
  3. Be happier, smile more, love more and support others struggles. You will win everytime!

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